Introduction | False Prophets in the Old Testament
At the time of Prophet Jeremiah, many false prophets, swarms of sorcerers, soothsayers and others appeared. Prophet Jeremiah, who Biblical Scholars argue is the author of Ch. Jeremiah and the compiler of the Deuteronomy chapter were so qualified to provide us with criteria to identify false and true prophets.
Analysis of Bible verses on the false Prophets
In Deuteronomy 13 and 18, as well as in Jeremiah 28-29, there are some instructions about false Christs who prophesy in the name of God in such a malicious way that they mislead God's people.
1. False Prophet preaches foreign gods
In Deuteronomy 13/2-4, a false prophet calls people to believe in strange gods that have no basis in God’s words in the (Torah):
“If a prophet or dreamer of dreams arises among you and proclaims a sign or wonder to you, 2 and if the sign or wonder he has spoken to you comes about, but he says, “Let us follow other gods (which you have not known) and let us worship them,” 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer.”
Although this indicates the lies of false apostles such as Paul, who distorted the religion of Christ and introduced into Christianity the Trinity that does not exist in the Hebrew Torah, it is undoubtedly inapplicable to the Prophet Muhammad who called for the one and only God.
Qur’an reaches the pure monotheism that Abraham, Moses, and other prophets of the Old Testament taught. As God says in the Quran:
Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “O People of the Book! Let us come to common terms: that we will worship none but Allah, associate none with Him, nor take one another as lords instead of Allah.” (Surah al-Imrah 3:64)
In Surat al-Ankabut, God commanded the believers to say to the Jews that our God and your God is one, but the difference is in the practices that mixed truth with falsehood:
“Do not argue with the People of the Book unless gracefully, except with those of them who act wrongfully. And say, “We believe in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to you. Our God and your God is ˹only˺ One. And to Him, we ˹fully˺ submit.” (Surah al-Ankabut 29:46)
Prophet Muhammad did not preach new gods, he rather preaches the only One God of Israel and corrected the mistakes Jews committed to whether in practices or belief.
True Prophet Comes with Islam:
In the book of Jeremiah 28, it is mentioned that the true prophet comes with peace “Shalom,” and the closes Arabic term is Islam:
“The prophets of old who preceded you and me prophesied war, disaster, and plague against many lands and great kingdoms. 9 As for the prophet who prophesies peace, only if the word of the prophet comes true will the prophet be recognized as one the LORD has truly sent.” (Jer 28:8-9)
This translation is strictly literal. The original verb “prophesy יִנָּבֵ֖א (yin·nā·ḇê)”, usually translated as “to speak by inspiration or revelation”, and the noun nābi, “a prophet” has given the impression that a prophet is the one who receives oracles or messages from God, and delivers them faithfully to the person or people intended.
There can be raised no serious objection to the English wording of this passage excepting the clause “I shalom לְשָׁל֑וֹם (lə·šā·lō·wm)” which I have translated as “concerning Islam.”
The preposition “l (לְ)” before “shālōm” signifies “concerning” or “about,” and places its subject in the objective case and not in the dative, as it would be if the predicate were a verb like “come,” “go,” or “give.”
That “shālōm” and the Syriac “shlāmā,” as well as the Arabic “salām” and “Islam,” are of the same Semitic root, “shālām,” and mean the same thing, is an admitted truth by all the scholars of the Semitic languages.
The verb “shālām” signifies “to submit, resign oneself to,” and then “to make peace;” and consequently “to be safe, sound, and tranquil.” No religious system in the world has ever been qualified with a better and more comprehensive, dignified, and sublime name than that of “Islam.”
According to the Quránic revelation, Abraham, Ishmá’íl, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and all the prophets were Muslims and professed Islam as their religion. The term “Islam” and its equivalents, “Shālōm” and Shlāmā,” were known to the Jews and Christians of Makkah and Madinah when Muhammad (PBUH) appeared to perfect and universalize the religion of Islam.
True Prophet preaches against Lies
Prophet Jeremiah quoted God saying that one of the signs of the false prophet is that he teaches people to lie and turns them away from the truth. Such prophet and his followers will face a dramatic fate:
“The LORD says concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite. Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you—though I did not send him—and has made you trust in a lie, 32 this is what the LORD says: ‘I will surely punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his descendants. He will have no one left among this people, nor will he see the good that I will bring to My people, declares the LORD, for he has preached rebellion against the LORD.’” (Jeremiah 29:31-32)
But the opposite is true regarding Prophet Muhammad and his followers. For he is the Prophet who taught people the truth and made it the best characteristic of a believer. He used to say:
“Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to wickedness, and wickedness leads to the Hell-Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar.” (Bukhari 6094)
Islam has been divinely spread across the earth since the beginning of revelation until now, and Muslims lead the global civilization for centuries.
Prophecies of the true Prophet are fulfilled:
Deuteronomy 18:21-22 mentions another important sign of the true prophet, namely he predicts future events that later fulfilled the way he prophecied:
“You may ask in your heart, “How can we recognize a message that the LORD has not spoken?” 22When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD and the message does not come to pass or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.”
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ made many prophecies of the future that were later fulfilled the even the details he mentioned.
The most important of these prophecies that have been fulfilled are the defeat of the Romans by the Persians, and then the defeat of the Persians by the Romans; The major and minor signs of the Hour that are being realized in our time; the last emperors; the fall of the Romans and the Persians; The internal fighting between the Companions and the Muslims, the details of that, and the signs of the right side of the two parties …etc.
By their fruit, you will know them!
Jesus added another sign of the true Prophet, namely his fruits shall be good:
“Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. … Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20So then, by their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:15-20)
So, How could we know whether Prophet Muhammad is a false a true Prophet? We trace his fruits i.e. his nation’s deeds. No one who reads the biography of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in a neutral and distanced himself from a hate-controlled manner can acknowledge the grace of the Prophet Muhammad and his nation over the entire universe. The Islamic nation is the one who carried the good values to the world, and it is the one who carried the torch of progress through the darken ages.
Only the Western and European occupation – who control the Arab World – has destroyed the Muslim civilization and planted the seeds of darkness in their homes.
Michael Hart - a non-Muslim orientalist - chose Prophet Muhammad as the best character who positively influenced humanity, in his book “The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History”, the First of whom is Prophet Muhammad.
Conclusion | Could Prophet Muhammad be a False Prophet?
The Bible sets several criteria and conditions to help us identify the false Prophets and the true Prophets. These conditions include:
- The true Prophet does not preach strange gods other than the one God worthy of worship (The one true God);
- The true Prophet shall come with Islam (the broader term of shalom = peace);
- The true Prophet does not exhort his followers to lie;
- The truthful prophet predicts future events that will happen the way he informed;
- You can identify the truthful Prophet through his fruits.
After discussing these criteria, it became clear to us that all of the biblical signs of the true Prophet apply perfectly to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Thus, according to the Bible, Muhammad could not be considered a false prophet, he is rather a true Prophet from God.
In addition, there are other biblical evidence supporting the true prophethood of Prophet Muhammad; such as the prophecies of the Bible about the coming of Prophet Muhammad.
For a full and expanded discussion of this prophecy and many of the prophecies of Prophet Muhammad in the Bible, I would urge you to read the book written by the former Roman Catholic priest, Professor David Benjamin (later Abd al-Ahad Dawood) under the title: "Muhammad in the Torah and the Gospel". Click here and check it now!